Tech is led up-front by former four-star defensive end Derrick Morgan (6-4/275). A future NFL prospect, Morgan actually took a recruiting visit to Miami coming out of high school but chose Tech. He already has five sacks on the young season and has 12 for his career. He's emerged as one of the nation's top pass-rushers and will be a handful for Miami's tackles since he will line up on both sides throughout the game. The other starting defensive end is junior Robert Hall (6-3/255). The former two-star prospect has 27 career tackles and 1.5 career sacks and is in his first season as a starter.
Inside, Tech starts junior Ben Anderson (6-2/275) and sophomore Jason Peters (6-4/275). Both are first year starters with limited experience, although Peters was recruited nationally as a four-star prospect a couple years ago.
Senior Sedric Griffin (5-11/230) is the only returning starter of the group and he has 12 tackles on the season and 80 for his career. The former two-star lines up outside. The inside 'backer is junior Brad Jefferson. The former three-star prospect has 13 tackles on the season and 47 for his career. Tech's defense has given up an average of 3.9 yards per carry on the young season but they have yet to surrender a touchdown on the ground.
The leader of the secondary is junior rover Morgan Burnett (6-1/210), who has emerged as one of the better defenders in the ACC. He has 156 career tackles and 11 picks and is the most experienced player on the defensive side of the ball for Tech. They return four other starters from last season -- sophomore free safety Cooper Taylor (6-4/200), junior corner Mario Butler (6-1/180), sophomore corner Jarrard Tarrant (6-0/200), and junior Dominique Reese (5-11/195). Reese (three career picks) and Butler (two) are considered playmakers. All four were recruited as three-star players coming out of high school. This unit has given up 454 yards through the air this season and five touchdowns while picking off three passes.